Click to read Chapter Six Part One
Chapter 6 Part 2
Zach and Kendra snapped a continuous flood of pictures at the barn and all around the field. "C'mon voice, I want to hear you, too," Zach said. It might have been funny if the mood wasn't so heavy, so dark.
Whisper spun and took a number of shots towards the far edge of the fields, on the opposite side of the barn. "The voice?" Josh asked. She nodded.
He looked over her shoulder at the view screen as she rewound to the first of the pictures. The first looked blurry, like there was a heavy fog. The second looked a bit clearer, and it showed shadowy figures standing about. The next few showed what looked like old-timey farmers working on the fields. In the last, they stopped working and stared at the camera. Goosebumps erupted all over Josh's body. The ghosts knew they were here. The fog flowed back in the final picture.
"I'm not sure I like this," Whisper said. "I don't think they want us here."
The strange feeling hit Josh again, and he brought the camera up and took a bunch of snaps towards the barn again. Whisper watched him, and when he brought the camera down to check the screen, she stood shoulder to shoulder to him. Somewhere in the back of his mind he noticed how close she stood, but the ghostly pictures and creepy feelings pushed the thought away.
Before he could focus on the pictures, a flash of movement caught his attention towards the barn. He noticed Whisper's head swing that way, too. "Zach, Kendra, start taking pictures towards the barn."
"Dude, when did you get all ghost sensitive?"
"How do you call yourself his best friend?" Kendra said. "He's always been like that."
"What? No. He doesn't even believe in ghosts."
"I never said he called them ghosts."
They continued taking pictures as they bickered. Josh barely heard as he scoured the barn area, and then turned his attention back to his camera. If there was anything worth seeing over there, Zach and Kendra's cameras would capture it.
"Is that true?" Whisper asked. "You've always sensed stuff?"
Josh gave a curt nod. "But let's talk about it later. Check this out. Are these the same ghosts?"
She leaned in close, and he got a whiff of her hair. Wow, she smelled good, like a mix between flowers and spun sugar. He shook his head real quick to get back on topic.
"It's hard to tell on the small screens, but I bet they are. Maybe Mr. Baxter can put them up side by side tomorrow."
"That'll be cool, but if it is, they're coming towards us. Maybe we should move somewhere else." He glanced towards the barn. "I really don't like that place."
"We should check out the house," Zach said. He clicked through his pictures and frowned. "I'm getting the balls of energy and stuff, but not the same things you guys are."
"I don't know if it's because I'm listening to you guys or what," Kendra said, "but this place is starting to freak me out."
Josh checked his watch. They'd already been there over twenty minutes. "We got less than ten minutes left. Let's head over there."
He glanced around. If he took a picture right now, he'd get something on it, no matter which way he aimed. He didn't dare press the button. Whisper did, however, and Josh let out a yell. An apparition of a farmhand appeared right in front of him, and disappeared just as quick.
Whisper's voice came out strained. "Was this what you saw?"
She showed him the camera, and he gasped. "That was him." He studied the ghostly face, which couldn't have been much older than him. This ghost could be just another kid at school if he'd lived today. Except for the evil that bled out of it, an evil he could feel through the camera. This ghost wanted to do him harm. The big question was if it actually could.
"Wow, that's pretty cool," Zach said. "You saw it, Josh? Right in front of you?"
He nodded, but words wouldn't form to elaborate. Instead he motioned for them to follow him to the farmhouse, though he wished they could head for their cars and go home. But none of this would go away just because he wanted it to.
Zach pushed into the lead with Kendra, who'd become uncharacteristically quiet, clinging to his arm. He still managed to snap pictures with his other hand as he walked. Whisper walked close to Josh, occasionally looking over at him, as if checking to make sure he was okay.
He glanced over at her and smiled. "I'm fine. Just a bit shaken."
"I'm not sure I would have been had I seen it. I felt that you did, though, and I could tell it wanted to hurt you." She paused, and when he looked over, she blushed.
Her cheeks burned brighter. "Nothing. I was just marveling at how brave you're being. You probably think I'm a big wimp, huh?"
"No, of course not." He put his arm around her shoulders. Oh god, did he really do that? They both stiffened, and then she melted into him. He couldn't breathe, but he didn't pull away, even when Kendra glanced back at them. She must really have been spooked because she gave a half smile, but instead of making a typical Kendra quip, she turned back around and clung tighter to Zach.
"I don't think we should stay much longer," Whisper said. "We have plenty to bring to Mr. Baxter tomorrow."
Josh nodded, but before he could say anything, something in the tree next to the main farmhouse caught his eye. He dropped his arm from Whisper's shoulder and pointed. He almost didn't hear her say she saw it.
A figure appeared in the tree, sitting on one of the branches. A shimmering rope encircled his neck. It was a ghost hanging. This was how this guy died. He dropped, the rope snapped tight, and he struggled. After a few seconds, he hung still. The scene repeated itself. This time Josh could see more detail. The ghost looked to be in his late teens, maybe early twenties, though his face showed evidence of a hard-lived life. As the rope hit its tight point, the ghost bounced, and his eyes bugged out. He mouthed something, disappeared, and then reappeared on the branch, where he fell again. It happened over and over.
"What are you guys looking at?" Zach said, breaking first Josh, then Whisper, out of their trance.
"You . . . you don't see it?" he asked.
Both Zach and Kendra looked over at the tree, frowned, and shook their heads.
Tears forming in Whisper's eyes. "He's dying. We . . . we're watching how he died."
"Why can't I see it?" Zach asked. He snapped a few pictures at the tree. Those had to catch it. Josh could still see it. He wanted to turn away, but couldn't. He brought his own camera up and aimed. Though he could see the hanging man clearly with his eyes, the ghost didn't appear on the view screen. He snapped a few pictures to make sure. It didn't show up.
Josh's voice felt gravely, and he couldn't begin to imagine how it sounded to the others. "I can't be going crazy. Whisper sees it, too."
She nodded, and he put his arm around her shoulder again, and this time led her back towards the cars.
"Where are you going?" Zach called.
"Come on, Zach. We promised Mr. Baxter a half hour, and it's been longer than that."
"No. We're staying. It feels strange here, but I haven't seen anything like you guys."
Josh looked at Kendra. "I'll drive you home."
She took a step forward, and then looked back to Zach. "No, that's okay. I'll stay. It's not as scary as you guys are making it out to be." The shaking in her voice betrayed her, but Josh didn't push it.
"Alright. We'll see you two tomorrow."
"Don't stay too long," Whisper said. "Please."
Josh could sense Kendra wanted to make some comment about Josh's arm being around Whisper, but she bit it back. He couldn't remember her ever showing restraint like that, but now wasn't the time to dwell on it.
Zach waved, but his attention was already on the house. "Yeah, sure. Don't worry, we'll be fine."
Josh and Whisper looked at each other, shrugged, and headed back to his car. He could have sworn he saw people--ghosts--milling around in the field. By the way Whisper shuddered, she saw it, too. He let out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding when they made it to his car without incident.
Click to read Chapter Seven
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